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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Textline text

'START' 741-741

Coping with a suicide loss
  • It’s okay to grieve

  • It’s okay to cry

  • Feelings of guilt, confusion and anger and fear are common emotions in grief.

  • Understand that people grieve differently.

  • Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Talking about suicide, mental illness can help surviving family members and friends take steps towards prevention if they see something is wrong.

  • Ask “Why” until you no longer need to ask.

  • It’s okay to laugh, it doesn’t mean that you are not grieving or that you didn’t love the person who has died.

  • Grief is work and takes energy. It’s important to face your grief and not suppress your feelings

  • Be patient with yourself…grief takes time and has no time table

  • Avoid people who try to tell you how you should feel or that you “should get over it”.

  • Reassure the person that they are not responsible for the person taking their life. Nothing they said or didn’t say caused them to take their life.

  • Be attentive, present and practice active listening. Not all teens will have the need to talk about their loss.

  • Provide structure, a sense of continuity and stability during crisis and loss.

  • Seek professional help if needed.

Explaining why suicide happens:

  • The brain is an organ of the body, just like the heart or liver and can get sick.

  • Depression is an illness and can cause a person to die by suicide.

  • The person’s pain exceeded their ability to cope.

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